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In this Masterclass Webinar replay, PDP Coaching Advisor, Dan Cooke joins PDP Co-founder, Dave Wright for an in depth discussion on how to support players physical development through football. Dan and Dave will discuss some key considerations for coaches, take a deep dive on the topic of speed, share practical examples and discuss how to use small sided games for physical outcomes. Image Source: Unsplash Would you like to learn more about physical performance in football? View our online course on Physical Performance through Soccer….

Game management and understanding how to control a match are important elements for young players learning any sport. So how do we coach it? Ben Bartlett, one of The FA’s most highly regarded coach developers provides ideas as to how you can create conditions for your players to cope with pressure and manage the game. If we value young people (and young footballers) having the capacity to understand that there may be different ways to respond when different challenges present themselves; to what extent do…

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This practice is designed to work on high speed attack, defensive recovery runs and has a physical and psychological focus. Physically, the practice demands high speed runs in attack and defence. Mentally, players are tasked with demonstrating real desire and an attitude to compete. This is a valuable session for helping players physical conditioning through football. Quick Navigation About the Video Additional Information Practice Overview Interpreting the Diagrams Diagrams Objectives Organisation Observations & Interventions About the Video In the video below, Dave will talk you…

The Foundation Phase is a crucial time for young players. From the ages of eight- to 12-years-old, they will hopefully build the skills and confidence to underpin a lifetime of participation and further development in the game. As coaches, our job is to facilitate this process and provide varied and stimulating learning environments. Below, Lee Hodge, Head of Academy Coaching at Plymouth Argyle FC, shares his insights from the world of youth football, as he outlines his approach to developing 8-12 year-old players. In This…

Ball mastery and skill acquisition are crucial themes when coaching young players. But how complex should we make our practices when working with younger age groups? And how can we optimise these sessions to give kids the best developmental outcomes? Below, Gabriel Flores, Youth Development Phase Coach at Fulham FC, discusses the importance of technical coaching, its role within the wider context of player development, and how, by manipulating environmental constraints, we can use ball mastery sessions to help develop confident, adaptable players. In This…

PDP Co-Founder Dave Wright & PDP Technical Advisor Dan Wright discussing the benefits of playing multiple sports. It’s sometimes suggested in the sporting world that, if you want to make it at an elite level, you should specialize early and not play multiple sports during childhood. But does this theory hold up to scrutiny? An increasing number of coaches, recruiters, and other experts are arguing the opposite: that playing multiple sports is not only beneficial for the all-round development of children — as people, not…

The psychological components of coaching have a huge impact on the development of our players — both on and off the pitch. As coaches, we have a responsibility to understand these components, in order to provide supportive and constructive learning environments for the kids we work with. In this article, Dr. Suzanne Brown, Clinical Psychologist and Lead Psychologist at Sunderland AFC, explores some of the most important aspects of psychology in football, as she discusses emotional control, how to develop positive attitudes to mistakes, and…

Communicating with children is a fundamental part of youth coaching. How we interact and connect with our players underpins everything else we do, making it vital that we learn to communicate effectively and form positive relationships. In this article, we explain why it’s so important to connect with our players, discuss the value of empowerment in learning, and consider some effective strategies for communicating with children.  In This Article The Importance of Connecting Good communication and an ability to build relationships with our players are…

There are many different types of midfielder, both in terms of their attributes and skill sets, and in the areas of the pitch they occupy. Below, we delve into those differences, and discuss how coaches can effectively develop midfielders in youth football environments. In This Article Understanding the Different Types of Midfielder Before developing midfielders, it’s important to understand the different roles in the middle of the pitch. To help, we’ll draw upon the work of Sunderland Head Coach Michael Beale, whose model of central…

This practice is designed to challenge players abilities to control possession of the ball and quickly transition to win back the ball when possession is lost. Quick Navigation About the Video Additional Information Practice Overview Interpreting the Diagrams Diagrams Objectives Organisation Observations & Interventions About the Video In the video below, Dan will talk you through the structure of the practice, various outcomes and how you can adapt it for your players. Do you want to improve your ability to plan and deliver great sessions?…

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How to use this guide Understanding the session This session guide assumes you have 60 minutes with 16 players but as our guidelines point out, this can be adapted based on the number of players you have in your team. As your confidence grows you may adapt or experiment with the practices provided, but these tasks are designed to follow a process which gradually ramps up the challenge for the players from minute one to minute sixty. The key below outlines what the images mean…

The team at PDP have been providing coach education content to a global community of coaches for a decade.  In that time, we’ve spent a lot of time asking coaches what they want, how we can better serve them, and experimenting with various types of content including interviews, research reviews, guides, and more. This means that over the last ten years, we have tried dozens of new projects (some of which have failed), all with the goal of solving critical problems for coaches. In this…

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to player development. Young people develop at different ages and stages of participation, and at different rates throughout their journeys in the game. Therefore it’s vital that we individualise our approach to player development. In this article, Fulham FC coach Gabriel Flores explains how he uses strength-based training to help players maximise their potential. In This Article Understanding Strength-Based Coaching The best youth programmes seek to individualise the way they work with players. For Flores, one of the best ways…

In this Masterclass webinar replay, the PDP team share a top presentation on developing 1v1 players. PDP Co-Founder Dave Wright hosts a conversation with PDP Technical Advisor, Dan Wright and PDP Coaching Advisor, James Coutts on the value of 1v1s and how you can support your players confidence in developing this key attribute. The conversation covers a range of topics related to 1v1 football: – Position specific 1v1s – Various session plans for you to adapt – Discuss where 1v1s happen on the pitch –…

Football can be a powerful evoker of emotions. But, as coaches, it’s vital that we remain calm around our players and don’t let emotional responses govern our actions. Below, coach and author David Mayer discusses the importance of emotional awareness, and how developing emotional control can help us to create better learning environments for our players. In This Article Being Aware of Your Emotions In all walks of life, we can benefit from understanding, and knowing how to react positively to, our emotions. This is…

Jack Burns is a Kinesiology student at Jacksonville University and former Chelsea & Portsmouth Academy player. Jack opens up about the harsh realities around pursuing football as a career & how athlete welfare and happiness should be at the centre of a coaches approach. Within the sporting realm there is often ample talk pertaining to words that centre around ideas of psychology, be it mental toughness, grit, confidence, resilience, or assertiveness. As I progress through my undergraduate education in kinesiology at Jacksonville University, Florida, I…

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